5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I love Liv and Nate,
This review is from: Before Jamaica Lane (Kindle Edition)
"No one," I whispered, my lips trembling with emotion, "has ever made me feel like the person I've always wanted to be until you."
I must confess that I read Before Jamaica Lane all in one sitting and I didn't put this book down until 5:30 am in the morning. I simply couldn't! I stupidly thought I could take a sneak peek and from page one I was hooked. Samantha Young reels you in. I know I am guaranteed great writing, amazing characters and brilliant story telling with a book by this author and Before Jamaica Lane was no exception. I experienced tears, laughter, frustration and downright joy while reading this book. It's not just a story, it's an experience and one that I truly loved!
We met Olivia and Nate in Down London Road. Olivia moved over from the states with her dad who was a father figure to Jo and Nate was Cam's friend. Olivia is starting fresh in Scotland. She works in the university library and although it seems she has it all; good job, loving father, her own flat and a new extended family of sorts, there is a part of Liv's life that is incomplete. Her self esteem and self belief are non existent. Liv can't even looking at a guy without quivering with shyness let a lone talk to one and this is something she wants to fix. Liv is a real girl, and one of my favourite female characters yet. She is curvy and just wants to feel sexy and confident in her own skin.
Liv feels like a huge chunk of her personality is missing so she drunkenly suggests to Nate, whom she has formed a great friendship with, to teach her how to seduce and be more sexually confident and experienced. Of course these lessons cover the physical side as well. Nate is a player and doesn't hide it. One night stands are his speciality, even though he is playing with fire when accepting Liv's proposal, he is helpless to stop it and soon they go from being best friends to best friends with benefits thrown in. And can I just say, Liv is one lucky lady as Nate is a sexy man with a dirty mouth on him ;-)
This book is no exception to the others in the heat factor, it was downright HAWTT! Samantha Young writes great sexy times. Before Jamaica Lane was a passionate story but at the same time Liv and Nate's relationship was built on a great friendship and I loved that Nate gave Liv the confidence she needed. The scene where he undresses Liv in front of the mirror and points out how beautiful she is, has to be one of the hottest and sensual scenes I've read. I loved it!
I loved witnessing Olivia's journey over the course of the book, slowly but surely she became more comfortable in her own skin and she finally got to be the person she always wanted to be.
I loved the fact Before Jamaica Lane was not only about Liv's own personal journey of confidence and inner peace but Samantha Young entwined poor Nate's broken soul into it as well. Nate deflected love and avoided connections out of a obligation to his childhood love. Nate couldn't differentiate between what he thought he should feel and what he wanted to feel. Nate was so young when tragedy stuck and it was only when Liv manage to penetrate his armour that he realised he could run no more. Honestly, this part of the storyline made me love Nate and Liv more! I was rooting for them to be together every step of the way!
As always it was wonderful to read about the couples we have grown to love. Joss, Braden, Ellie, Adam, Jo and Cam were all back. They have solidified into a great group of friends. And we got to witness parts of their stories along side Nate and Livs and the othre books entwine together. Of course Joss and Braden will forever be my number one couple but I loved this story so much, Nate and Liv have secured the second spot for sure!
Another character that played a huge role in the story was Liv's mum, although no longer with her, Liv's mum was still very much present in her life. After losing her mum at a young age, Liv felt a flurry of emotions; overwhelming grief, despair and loss mixed with resentment and guilt. Even though Liv would never change being there for her mum every step of the way, she feared she might have resented her for robbing Liv of an 'average adolescence' but through her journey Liv was able to make peace with her mum and in turn she realised it was all meant to happen the way it did. Sporadic thoughts from Liv's mum would pop into the story and it really was heart warming, I loved the affectionate nick name for Liv and thought in some way her mum would be following Liv's journey if she could. "I'm so happy for you, Soda Pop."
Of course, something's gotta give and Liv could no longer read between the blurred lines. She was in a secret relationship with Nate, it went beyond 'practice now' and hearts were involved. "I was angry because what he'd just said was utterly beautiful. Looking at him caused a dart of pleasure to hit me in the chest. My blood heated, my fingers curling into little fists. He was making me fall for him. That wasn't supposed to be part of the deal." There was a point in the story when I didn't understand Liv's actions, seemingly Nate came to his senses and confessed what she was longing to hear, yet Liv was wanting more. I really wanted to shake her and say 'Girl, are you crazy!' but the more Liv shared her feelings I knew she was right. Words are easy to say, with Nate still very much stuck in his past, Liv needed actions, not words. And can I just say the results were swoon worthy and down right womb clenching!
Before Jamaica Lane is another fantastic story from Samantha Young. I adore her writing and story telling. I now feel like the Edinburgh gang are old acquaintances and I want to jump into their world at any chance I get. The stage is set for Hannah and Marco's story next and it will be interesting to see Hannah take centre stage. After reading the sweet, sweet epilogue I do wonder if a story for Cole will ever arise. All I know is, I just need more! I want to read about these characters until both them and I are grey haired!
If you are a fan of the series, you will absolutely fall in love with Liv and Nate and if you are new to it all then I say don't even hesitate and jump in today! ~Ava
*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*